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Marie in Hong Kong

Marie in Hong Kong

Discovery of Hong Kong


Ready for Chinese New Year ?

Publié par Marie sur 20 Janvier 2012, 16:55pm

Catégories : #Cultural Differences

While I am going for few days on a paradisiacal island, you will learn everything you need to know about the Chinese culture. A new article found in the Time Out this week written by L. Zhang. 

 

"Do's and Don'ts for Chinese New Year

 

Don’t break things 
Well, it’s not something we’d normally want to do anyway. But now is an especially bad time for klutzes across Asia. Handle breakable objects such as cups, glasses and mirrors with extra care as breaking one may lead to a broken family. But if you just can’t help it, there’s one way to counteract the bad luck: just immediately utter ‘sui sui ping an’ which means ‘peaceful all year’ in Mandarin, or ‘tai kat lai si’ which means ‘bless me’ in Cantonese.

 

Do clean up beforehand
Remember to sweep, dust and mop before the Chinese New Year to get rid of all the bad luck from the previous year. But hide that broom after New Year’s Day (Jan 23) because you don’t want to risk sweeping away the good luck the New Year will bring.

 

Don’t buy shoes
Bad news for shoe lovers: ‘shoe’ sounds similar to ‘evil’ in Chinese, so you should steer clear from shoe stores in the first few days of the New Year. But, really, it’s just another great excuse to stock up on sweet kicks beforehand.

 

Do get decked out in red
Getting dressed in red on New Year’s Eve is a popular Chinese tradition that’s still widely practiced in Hong Kong. You can drape yourself from head-to-toe or just accent with accessories. We think the best way is to slap on a pair of red underwear – it’s a popular New Year’s gift between lovers.

 

Don’t slice and dice
Beware of scissors! Put those knives away! Chinese superstition says they might cause, uh, a family member’s death in the New Year. This also means you should prepare your food for New Year’s Day ahead of time.

 

Do balance the books
Sort out your finances and clear your debts before New Year’s Day. Superstition dictates that if you start the year in the red, you’ll finish it the same way.

 

Don’t mention death
Hmm… this one should be obvious. Reference to death and other misfortunes (including disasters and the like) on New Year’s Day is considered supremely inauspicious. Remember that homonyms for death lurk all over the Chinese language. ‘Four’, as everyone knows, should be avoided because it has the same pronunciation as ‘death’. You’ve been warned!

 

Do eat lucky food
For the Chinese, good luck for the New Year is solicited by eating as much auspicious food as possible. So feast on glutinous rice cakes that symbolise progress, fish that represents abundance and spring rolls which are shaped like gold bars. Fancy that.

 

Don’t shower on New Year’s Day
Avoid showering or washing your hair on New Year’s Day as it’s believed you’ll wash away your good luck. Sounds to us like yet another excuse to lie on the couch and do nothing…"

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